cheeseburger at mac's local eats photo by virginia harold

2021 Sauce Readers' Choice Winners

Every year, we invite our readers to vote on their favorite local places to eat, drink and shop. Despite a challenging period for businesses that had to constantly adapt during the pandemic, restaurants continue to prove that our city’s dining landscape is vibrant and varied. Though we said farewell to many beloved places, it’s exciting to finally celebrate a few wins. Here are the winners of this year’s Sauce Readers’ Choice poll.


FAVORITE RESTAURANT
Sugarfire Smoke House
Multiple locations, sugarfiresmokehouse.com
2nd: Grace Meat + Three (tie) Katie’s Pizza & Pasta Osteria
3rd: Olive + Oak
Honorable Mentions: Louie, Eleven Eleven Mississippi


CHEF OF THE YEAR
Kevin Milford, Sugarfire Smoke House
Multiple locations, sugarfiresmokehouse.com
2nd: Katie Collier, Katie’s Pizza & Pasta Osteria
3rd: Loryn Nalic, Balkan Treat Box
Honorable Mentions: Jessie Mendica, Olive + Oak; Ray Wiley, Beffa’s


FAVORITE PATIO
Hendel’s
599 Rue St. Denis St., Florissant, 314.837.2304, hendelsrestaurant.com
2nd: McGurk’s Irish Pub & Garden
3rd: Rockwell Beer Co.
Honorable Mentions: Vin De Set (tie) Broadway Oyster Bar, Billy G’s Kirkwood


FAVORITE CHICKEN WINGS
Syberg’s
Multiple locations, sybergs.com
2nd: Sugarfire Smoke House
3rd: Grace Meat + Three
Honorable Mentions: St. Louis Wing Co., Three Kings Public House


FAVORITE ROMANTIC SPOT
The Boathouse at Forest Park
6101 Government Drive, St. Louis, 314.366.1555, boathousestl.com
2nd: Sidney Street Cafe
3rd: Vin De Set
Honorable Mentions: Louie, Olio


FAVORITE GHOST KITCHEN/POP-UP
Elmwood Pizza Pop-up (Pizza champ)
2704 Sutton Blvd., Maplewood, 314.261.4708, elmwoodstl.com
2nd: Vegan Deli & Butcher by Chef Bertke
3rd: Wing Ding Dong
Honorable Mentions: Upper Crust, Shift


NEW RESTAURANT
BEAST Southern Kitchen & BBQ
1280 Columbia Center, Columbia, 314.944.6003, beastsouthern.com
2nd: The Lucky Accomplice
3rd: Perennial on Lockwood
Honorable Mentions: Winslow’s Table, The Parkmoor Drive-In

FAVORITE DINER
Southwest Diner
6803 Southwest Ave., St. Louis, 314.260.7244, southwestdinerstl.com
2nd: Uncle Bill’s Pancake and Dining
3rd: Olivette Diner
Honorable Mentions: Chris’ Pancake and Dining, City Diner


FAVORITE FOOD TRUCK
Seoul Taco
Multiple locations, seoultaco.com
2nd: Mission Taco Truck (tie) Farmtruk
3rd: K-Bop
Honorable Mentions: Blues Fired Pizza, Truck Norris


FAVORITE DELI/SANDWICH SHOP
Gioia’s Deli
1934 Macklind Ave., St. Louis; 623 N. New Ballas Road, Creve Coeur, 314.776.9410, gioiasdeli.com
2nd: Blues City Deli
3rd: The Gramophone
Honorable Mentions: Mom’s Deli, Union Loafers Café and Bread Bakery


FAVORITE DOUGHNUT SHOP
Old Town Donut Shop
508 New Florissant Road, Florissant, 314.831.0907, oldtowndonuts.com
2nd: Donut Drive-In
3rd: Strange Donuts
Honorable Mentions: World’s Fair Donuts, Pharaoh’s Donuts


FAVORITE BARBECUE
Sugarfire Smoke House
Multiple locations, sugarfiresmokehouse.com
2nd: Salt + Smoke
3rd: Pappy’s Smokehouse
Honorable Mentions: Beast Craft BBQ Co., Bogart’s Smokehouse (tie) The Shaved Duck

FAVORITE SUSHI
Sushi Ai
Multiple locations, sushiaistlouis.com
2nd: Drunken Fish (tie) Wasabi Sushi Bar
3rd: Indo
Honorable Mentions: Café Mochi, Nippon Tei


FAVORITE STEAKHOUSE
Tucker’s Place
Multiple locations, tuckersplacestl.com
2nd: Annie Gunn’s
3rd: Kreis’ Restaurant
Honorable Mentions: Citizen Kane’s Steakhouse, Twisted Tree Steakhouse


FAVORITE PIZZA PLACE
Imo’s
Multiple locations, imospizza.com
2nd: Katie’s Pizza & Pasta Osteria
3rd: Pi Pizza
Honorable Mentions: Plank Road Pizza, Union Loafers Café and Bread Bakery


FAVORITE BRUNCH
The Shack
Multiple locations, eatatshack.com
2nd: Rooster
3rd: Southwest Diner (tie) Egg
Honorable Mentions: Brasserie By Niche, Polite Society (tie) Russell’s on Macklind


FAVORITE ITALIAN
Zia’s Restaurant
5256 Wilson Ave., St. Louis, 314.776.0020, zias.com
2nd: Cunetto House of Pasta
3rd: Anthonino’s Taverna
Honorable Mentions: Trattoria Marcella, Pastaria


FAVORITE CHINESE
Mai Lee
8396 Musick Memorial Drive, Brentwood, 314.645.2835, maileestl.com
2nd: Lona’s Lil Eats
3rd: China King
Honorable Mentions: Lu Lu Seafood Restaurant, Old St. Louis Chop Suey

FAVORITE FRIED CHICKEN
Grace Meat + Three
4270 Manchester Ave., St. Louis, 314.533.2700, stlgrace.com 
2nd: Hodak's Restaurant
3rd: Southern (temporarily closed)
Honorable Mentions: King Edwards Fried ChickenPorter’s Fried Chicken


FAVORITE FINE DINING
Sidney Street Café
2000 Sidney St., St. Louis, 314.771.5777, sidneystreetcafestl.com
2nd: Olive + Oak (tie) Eleven Eleven Mississippi
3rd: Tony’s
Honorable Mentions: Annie Gunn’sBlood & Sand


FAVORITE BURGER
Mac’s Local Eats
1821 Cherokee St., St. Louis, 314.393.7713, macslocaleats.com
2nd: Hi-Pointe Drive-In
3rd: Stacked STL Burger Bar
Honorable Mentions: O’Connell’s Pub, Carl’s Drive-In

FAVORITE FROZEN DESSERT
Ted Drewes Frozen Custard
6726 Chippewa St., St. Louis, 314.481.2652; 4224 S. Grand Blvd., St. Louis, 314.352.7376, teddrewes.com
2nd: Clementine’s Creamery
3rd: Fritz’s Frozen Custard
Honorable Mentions: Serendipity Homemade Ice Cream, Ices Plain & Fancy


FAVORITE CAJUN/CREOLE
Broadway Oyster Bar
736 S. Broadway, St. Louis, 314.621.8811, broadwayoysterbar.com
2nd: Sister Cities Cajun
3rd: Gulf Shores Restaurant
Honorable Mentions: Highway 61 Roadhouse and Kitchen, Boogaloo, 909 Public House (tie)


FAVORITE INDIAN
House of India
8501 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis, 314.567.6850, hoistl.com
2nd: Himalayan Yeti
3rd: India Palace
Honorable Mentions: Everest Cafe and Bar, Rasoi


FAVORITE KOREAN
Seoul Taco
Multiple locations, seoultaco.com
2nd: Tiny Chef
3rd: Kimchi Guys (tie) Seoul Garden Korean Restaurant
Honorable Mentions: K-BopKim Cheese


FAVORITE TACOS
Mission Taco Joint
Multiple locations, missiontacojoint.com
2nd: Taco Circus
3rd: Taco Buddha
Honorable Mentions: Seoul Taco, Hacienda Mexican Restaurant


FAVORITE MEXICAN
Hacienda Mexican Restaurant
9748 Manchester Road, Rock Hill, 314.962.7100, haciendastl.com
2nd: Rosalita’s Cantina
3rd: Mi Ranchito
Honorable Mentions: Chava’s Mexican Restaurant, El Burro Loco


FAVORITE GREEK
Olympia Kebob House
1543 McCausland Ave., St. Louis, 314.781.1299, olympiakebobandtavern.com
2nd: Spiro’s Restaurant
3rd: Michael’s Bar & Grill
Honorable Mentions: Anthonino’s Taverna, Soulard Gyro


FAVORITE MEDITERRANEAN/MIDDLE EASTERN
Balkan Treat Box
8013 Big Bend Blvd., Webster Groves, 314.733.5700, balkantreatbox.com
2nd: Cafe Natasha’s
3rd: The Vine Cafe (tie) Sultan Mediterranean Cuisine
Honorable Mentions: Layla, Aya Sofia


FAVORITE SOUL FOOD/SOUTHERN
Grace Meat + Three
4270 Manchester Ave., St. Louis, 314.533.2700, stlgrace.com
2nd: Southern (temporarily closed)
3rd: Juniper
Honorable Mentions: Sweetie Pie’s Upper Crust, Jerk Soul


FAVORITE THAI
King and I
3155 S. Grand Ave., St. Louis, 314.771.1777, kingandistl.com
2nd: Pearl Cafe
3rd: Thai Kitchen (tie) Chao Baan
Honorable Mentions: Fork & Stix, Pad Thai Kitchen


FAVORITE VIETNAMESE
Mai Lee
8396 Musick Memorial Drive, Brentwood, 314.645.2835, maileestl.com
2nd: Pho Grand
3rd: Banh Mi So 1
Honorable Mentions: Lemongrass, Little Saigon Cafe


FAVORITE RAMEN
Nudo House
6105 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis, 314.370.6970; 11423 Olive Blvd., Creve Coeur, 314.274.8046, nudohousestl.com
2nd: Robata Maplewood
3rd: Blue Ocean
Honorable Mentions: Ramen Tei, Nami Ramen


VEGETARIAN/VEGAN
Lona’s Lil Eats
2199 California Ave., St. Louis, 314.925.1888, lonaslileats.com
2nd: Lulu’s Local Eatery
3rd: Tree House Restaurant
Honorable Mentions: SweetArt Bakeshop & Cafe, Pizza Head (tie) Everest Cafe


FAVORITE SEAFOOD
Peacemaker Lobster & Crab Co.
1831 Sidney St., St. Louis, 314.772.8858, peacemakerlobstercrab.com
2nd: Broadway Oyster Bar
3rd: Gulf Shores Restaurant
Honorable Mentions: Yellowbelly, Indo


FAVORITE PAN-ASIAN/ASIAN FUSION
Seoul Taco
Multiple locations, seoultaco.com
2nd: Indo (tie) Guerrilla Street Food
3rd: Copper Pig
Honorable Mentions: Kitchen Kulture, The Bao


BARTENDER OF THE YEAR
Jacob Smith, Blood & Sand
1500 St. Charles St., St Louis, 314.241.7263, bloodandsandstl.com
2nd: Terry Oliver, Frazer’s
3rd: James Nahm, 909 Public House
Honorable Mentions: Ted Kilgore, Planter’s House; Meredith Barry, Taste/La Verita Distilleria

FAVORITE HAPPY HOUR
Three Kings Public House
Multiple locations, threekingspub.com 
(tie) Sasha’s on Shaw
4069 Shaw Blvd., St. Louis, 314.771.7274, sashaswinebar.com
2nd: Narwhal’s Crafted
3rd: Planter’s House*
Honorable Mentions: Vin De Set, The Pat Connolly Tavern* (tie) Basso
*These happy hours are indefinitely on hiatus due to the pandemic.


FAVORITE COCKTAILS
Narwhal’s Crafted
Multiple locations, narwhalscrafted.com
2nd: Planter’s House
3rd: Blood & Sand
Honorable Mentions: Frazer’s, Olive + Oak


FAVORITE COFFEE SHOP
Kaldi’s Coffee
Multiple locations, kaldiscoffee.com
2nd: The Mud House
3rd: Picasso’s Coffee House
Honorable Mentions: Park Avenue Coffee, Sump Coffee


FAVORITE BEER BAR
Three Kings Public House
Multiple locations, threekingspub.com
2nd: The Side Project Cellar
3rd: International Tap House
Honorable Mentions: Amsterdam Tavern, Chillax Tap & Co. (tie) Gezellig


FAVORITE BREWERY
4 Hands Brewing Co.
1220 S. Eighth St., St. Louis, 314.436.1559, 4handsbrewery.com
2nd: Urban Chestnut Brewing Co. (tie) Schlafly
3rd: 2nd Shift Brewing
Honorable Mentions: Rockwell Beer Co., Civil Life Brewing Co. (closed for expansion until September 2021)


FAVORITE GAMES BAR
Westport Social
910 Westport Plaza, Maryland Heights, 314.548.2876, westportsocial-stl.com
2nd: 4 Hands Brewing Co.
3rd: The Silver Ballroom
Honorable Mentions: PiecesTwo Plumbers Brewery & Arcade


FAVORITE PUB
John D. McGurk’s Irish Pub & Garden
1200 Russell Blvd., St. Louis, 314.766.8309, mcgurks.com
2nd: The Scottish Arms
3rd: Llywelyn’s Pub
Honorable Mentions: O’Connell’s Pub, Seamus McDaniel’s


FAVORITE SPORTS BAR
Syberg’s
Multiple locations, sybergs.com
2nd: Amsterdam Tavern
3rd: The Post Sports Bar & Grill
Honorable Mentions: Tamm Avenue Bar, Joey B’s


FAVORITE WINE BAR
Sasha’s Wine Bars
706 DeMun Ave., St. Louis, 314.863.7274; 4069 Shaw Blvd., St. Louis, 314.771.7274, sashaswinebar.com
2nd: Grafton Winery and Brewhaus
3rd: Cottleville Wine Seller
Honorable Mentions: Robust Wine Bar, 33 Wine Shop & Bar


FAVORITE LOCAL DISTILLERY
Square One Brewery and Distillery
1727 Park Ave, St. Louis, 314.231.2537, squareonebrewery.com
2nd: Still 630 Distillery
3rd: 1220 Artisan Spirits (tie) Pinckney Bend Distillery
Honorable Mentions: Stumpy’s Spirits Distillery, Switchgrass Spirits Distillery


FAVORITE LOCAL WINERY
Wild Sun Winery
4830 Pioneer Road, Hillsboro, 636.797.8686, wildsun.com
2nd: Grafton Winery & Brewhaus
3rd: Chandler Hill Vineyards
Honorable Mentions: Cedar Lake Cellars Winery (tie) Montelle Winery, Chaumette Vineyards & Winery


FAVORITE BUTCHER SHOP
Kenrick’s Meat Market
4324 Weber Road, St. Louis, 314.631.2440, kenricks.com
2nd: Bolyard’s Meat & Provisions
3rd: Mannino’s Market
Honorable Mentions: Beast Butcher & Block, G&W Meats


FAVORITE BREAD
Union Loafers Café and Bread Bakery
1629 Tower Grove Ave., St. Louis, 314.833.6111, unionloafers.com
2nd: Companion Bakery
3rd: Missouri Baking Co.
Honorable Mentions: Vitale’s Bakery, Federhofer’s Bakery

FAVORITE CAKES/PASTRIES

Made. by Lia
610 Rue St. Francis, Florissant, 314.551.2383, madebylia.com
2nd: Nathaniel Reid Bakery
3rd: Missouri Baking Co.
Honorable Mentions: La Patisserie Chouquette, Jilly’s Cupcake Bar


FAVORITE FARMERS MARKET
Soulard Farmers Market
730 Carroll St, St. Louis, 314.622.4180, soulardmarket.com
2nd: Tower Grove Farmers’ Market
3rd: Kirkwood Farmers’ Market
Honorable Mentions: Ferguson Farmers’ Market,Lake Saint Louis Farmers and Artist Market


FAVORITE LOCAL GROCERY
Schnucks
Multiple locations, schnucks.com
2nd: Dierbergs
3rd: Straub’s
Honorable Mentions: Jay International Food Co., DiGregorio’s Italian Market


FAVORITE SPECIALTY SHOP
Crown Candy Kitchen
1401 St. Louis Ave., St. Louis, 314.621.9650, crowncandykitchen.net
2nd: Volpi Foods
3rd: Bob’s Seafood
Honorable Mentions: Parker’s Table, BeerSauce Shop


FAVORITE BOTTLE SHOP
Randall’s Wines & Spirits
1910 S. Jefferson Ave., St. Louis, 314.865.0199, shoprandalls.com
2nd: The Wine and Cheese Place
3rd: Intoxicology
Honorable Mentions: Saint Louis Hop Shop, BeerSauce Shop